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2020 Was the Year of The QR Code

Did you know that QR stands for quick response? Most people don’t think of that and didn’t think much of those symbols meant to be scanned by phones to access information.

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These symbols actually have a longer history than many would suppose, and back in 1994, they were anticipated as the replacement for the barcode. That didn’t happen, and they didn’t really realize the potential such coding held for quite some time.

But 2020 was a different kind of year, and one that saw QR code use surge. As reported in Modern Retail, this past year, “ they’ve become a dominant way small businesses conduct payments, as well as made their way onto product packaging and in direct mail catalogues.”

Modern Retail references Statista’s estimates that by the end of 2020, “an estimated 11 million households will scan a QR code.” That’s because this year there was, “a 35% increase in the number of interactions per object or sign,” according to Blue Bite.

Sellers, ranging from 1800 Flowers to major clothing designers and a whole bevy of beer brands found innovative ways to use QR codes to engage their customers and promote their products this year. That trend is expected to continue.

The article cites Maggie Bryan, director of UX at Stink Studios, a New York-based advertising agency as observing, “Whether it’s thinking about product demos enabled with QR codes instead of touch screens or investing in digital experiences over traditional retail, 2021 is going to be different.”

After so many years, even decades of being overlooked, the humble QR code may finally have taken on a starring role. Timing is everything, and that applies even to tech that’s been around for a while.

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